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Encounter with a Minivet in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

on 16th December 2012

Mrs Koh was visiting Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam recently when she spotted a colourful minivet and sent in this account:

“Thought you might like to see my pictures of a long-tailed minivet (Pericrocotus ethologus) (found the name off the internet) which I spotted whilst on a work trip to Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. I was in the middle of the city centre, in a building, and spotted a flash of bright red fly across a tree. I quickly took out my camera, and to my delight, this gorgeous bird flew back into view, with a fat caterpillar in its beak, and started flinging it against a branch, before it ate it. It perched there for a minute or two, digesting its meal and allowing me to take a few shots. I’ve never seen this bird in Singapore, can they be found here?

The images were sent to Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS for confirmation and this is his reply:

“Using Robson, C. (2002) A Field Guide to Birds of South East Asia. New Holland Publishers (UK) Ltd. as a base and multiple other resources to counter check:

1. Short-Billed Minivet (Pericrocotus speciosus) found in north Vietnam only, so unlikely at Ho Chi Min City.

2. Long-tailed Minivet – found in your location, but tail not as long as expected. Also the tail is less red in the Long-tailed.

3. Scarlet Minivet (P. speciosuss) – found in your location, the pictures shows a more ‘vivid flame-red plumage’ (Robson) supporting this ID. Bill larger and more robust. Diagnostic red markings near tip of tertials and inner secondaries (hard to see…).”

Mrs Koh & Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
December 2012

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

Other posts by YC Wee

3 Responses

  1. From the spots on the tertials, I would think its more likely Scarlet Minivet as well based on distribution and abundance of the species.

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